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Old 30th January 2013, 11:32 PM   #11
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A decent router may be the most versatile power tool you can own. Get the plunge-base tool, then pick up the fixed base in the near future. The plunge base will be suitable for most cases where you move the router over a workpiece, while the fixed base is more suitable for mounting in a router table.

Ditto the comments about carbide bits with 1/2" shanks! I think even an inexpensive carbide-edged bit will outperform and outlast a comparable bit in tool steel.

There are more good comments in the thread "Which Router?" at which router?

I rather like this version of the pipe clamp, because of the greater depth, but I own both styles: http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...77&cat=1,43838
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Old 31st January 2013, 01:20 PM   #12
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Is this a decent bit to start with?
Amana Tool 46315 CNC Spiral Flute Plunge 2-Flute Up-Cut Solid Carbide Router Bit, 1/4-Inch Shank - Amazon.com
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Old 31st January 2013, 04:54 PM   #13
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Depends on what you're using it for. I use those for plunge cuts, as for mortises. If you're cutting holes for speakers, I wouldn't use it. And don't buy 1/4" shaft, spend the dollars for 1/2". One of the best router bit companies is Whiteside Machine Company. In any of the tests I've seen, their bits are continually amongst the best, and most consistent - meaning you can rout more without the bit dulling.
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Old 31st January 2013, 04:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prairieboy View Post
Depends on what you're using it for. I use those for plunge cuts, as for mortises. If you're cutting holes for speakers, I wouldn't use it. And don't buy 1/4" shaft, spend the dollars for 1/2". One of the best router bit companies is Whiteside Machine Company. In any of the tests I've seen, their bits are continually amongst the best, and most consistent - meaning you can rout more without the bit dulling.
That are almost next door to me!

I wonder if they will sell at any of the local shops around me...
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Old 31st January 2013, 11:05 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by prairieboy View Post
Depends on what you're using it for. I use those for plunge cuts, as for mortises. If you're cutting holes for speakers, I wouldn't use it.
Those solid carbide spiral bits are probably the ultimate for a smooth finish on the machined surface, but they are expensive and somewhat fragile. Surface finish is seldom a consideration for speaker cutout holes so I'd use a common plunge-cut 1/2" straight bit and not worry as much about possibly breaking the bit.

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. . . And don't buy 1/4" shaft, spend the dollars for 1/2" . . . .
As a general rule that's excellent advice. In this case . . . a 1/2" shank solid carbide bit could run as much as $100. You can buy a lot of lumber, or transistors for $100.

Dale
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Old 31st January 2013, 11:07 PM   #16
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I am doing a Lowes/HD run before I get started, any links to decent ones would be greatly appreciated! "Regular Straight Bit" meaning not spiral up cut but just a straight bit with two blades?
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Old 31st January 2013, 11:48 PM   #17
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Try to get 1/2" shank bits. Larger diameter cutters with bigger bearings last longer. I like the shear cutting bits. Make sure you understand the concept of climb cutting and be sure to avoid it.
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Old 1st February 2013, 12:41 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by RonVinyl View Post
I am doing a Lowes/HD run before I get started, any links to decent ones would be greatly appreciated! "Regular Straight Bit" meaning not spiral up cut but just a straight bit with two blades?
My unsubstantiated impression is that the bits you get at the "home-improvement" retailers are likely to be lower performance (and only a dollar or two lower price) than what you get from a woodworker's dealer like Woodcraft or Rockler. (Woodcraft is in Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte; Rockler has an affiliate in Asheville. Here in St Louis we have both; and St Charles Hardwoods carries Amana and there was a place in Kirkwood that had Bosch bits. In the past I have been pleased with mail-order service from MLCS and Eagle America.)

Yes, if you have to pay straight list price start with a straight-flute, carbide edged, bit with 1/2" cutting diameter, 1" cutting length, and 1/2" shank. Make sure it has cutting flutes on the END of the bit, so you can plunge it into a workpiece without starting at an edge or pre-drilled hole. (I think they all do these days, but that wasn't true in the past.) Then compare it to what you'd pay for additional features, such as a LOWER pilot bearing or spiral flutes, evaluate the fiscal WAF, and act accordingly. For reference, here's Rockler p/n 90550: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...5&site=ROCKLER . The basic straight bits are often used as loss-leader sale items but it's not unusual to find sale prices on bits with more features - for example, the Woodcraft p/n147239 at http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/200...CL-x-12-S.aspx

Dale
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Old 1st February 2013, 12:46 AM   #19
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So would this be something ideal to have?
Spiral Upcut Solid Carbide 1/2" Shank

Buy Whiteside RU5150 Solid Carbide Spiral Upcut Router Bit 1 2 Sh 1 2 D 1-1 2 CL 3 OL at Woodcraft
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Old 1st February 2013, 12:54 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by dchisholm View Post
My unsubstantiated impression is that the bits you get at the "home-improvement" retailers are likely to be lower performance (and only a dollar or two lower price) than what you get from a woodworker's dealer like Woodcraft or Rockler. (Woodcraft is in Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte; Rockler has an affiliate in Asheville. Here in St Louis we have both; and St Charles Hardwoods carries Amana and there was a place in Kirkwood that had Bosch bits. In the past I have been pleased with mail-order service from MLCS and Eagle America.)

Yes, if you have to pay straight list price start with a straight-flute, carbide edged, bit with 1/2" cutting diameter, 1" cutting length, and 1/2" shank. Make sure it has cutting flutes on the END of the bit, so you can plunge it into a workpiece without starting at an edge or pre-drilled hole. (I think they all do these days, but that wasn't true in the past.) Then compare it to what you'd pay for additional features, such as a LOWER pilot bearing or spiral flutes, evaluate the fiscal WAF, and act accordingly. For reference, here's Rockler p/n 90550: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...5&site=ROCKLER . The basic straight bits are often used as loss-leader sale items but it's not unusual to find sale prices on bits with more features - for example, the Woodcraft p/n147239 at Buy Woodriver 152421 Pattern Cutting Router Bit 3 4 D x 1-1 4 CL x 1 2 S at Woodcraft

Dale
Great advice! Thanks! Looks like there is a great deal of room to upgrade bits etc. Will I be able to get by this first time with the 1/4" shank spiral upcut or should I drive to woodcraft tomorrow in Raleigh?

Thanks again!
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